A Los Angeles immigration lawyer discusses the surge in driver’s licenses issued to undocumented foreign in CA in 2015.
Safety, rather than compassion, led California lawmakers to pass legislation last January that has now helped more than 600,000 undocumented immigrants obtain their driver’s licenses. According to authorities, roughly half of all new driver’s licenses issued in California in 2015 were to undocumented foreign nationals.
And according to California legislators, the roads are now safer in the state because California Assembly Bill 60 (AB 60) has allowed those without a Social Security number (or other forms of official U.S. documentation) to apply for a driver’s license as long as they can provide proof of:
- California residency
- Their identity (via some form of valid foreign identification or a passport).
Documentation Proving Residency
If you are a foreign national who would like to apply for a California driver’s license under AB-60, here are the valid forms of documentation that can be used to establish California residency when applying:
- Rental/lease agreement or mortgage bill
- Pay stub or proof of employment
- Utility or phone bill
- Medical bills/documentation
- Documentation from school/university
- A printed bank statement
- Insurance documents, including those related to home, auto, health, and dental policies.
For a full list of documentation required for proof of residency, click here.
How to Apply for an AB-60 Driver’s License
Applying for a California driver’s license under the AB-60 guidelines is relatively straightforward, as it generally involves the following steps:
- Set up an appointment with the DMV.
- Sign an affidavit swearing that the applicant is not eligible for a Social Security number or another form of U.S. citizenship
- Provide proof of identity and residency.
- Complete and submit a CA driver’s license or ID card application (Form DL 44) to the DMV.
- Pass the state-required vision test and written exam.
- Complete fingerprinting and have a photo taken.
- Pay the applicable license fee, which is slightly higher than standard driver’s license fee (The Renewal fee will be slightly higher until June 30, 2017 to help offset the AB-60 program costs.)
Influx of Drivers’ License Applications Leads to CA DMV Expansion
The massive influx of AB-60 applicants has required the state to hire roughly 1,000 temporary workers to help respond to the program’s overwhelming popularity. As a result, the state was forced to also extend the hours of operation at DMV offices and open four new DMV licensing centers.
Officials hope these added measures will reduce lines and wait times. In the big picture, their hope is that providing undocumented foreign nationals with licenses can cut improve roadway safety and reduce traffic crashes (as these individuals will have to become familiar with California driving regulations in order to pass licensing exams).
Contact a Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer at the Hanlon Law Group, P.C.
For experienced help resolving any immigration issue, contact a Los Angeles immigration lawyer at the Hanlon Law Group, P.C. by calling (626) 765-4641 or (866) 489-7612 or by emailing us using the form at the upper right-hand side of the screen.
From our office in Pasadena, we serve clients throughout the Los Angeles area, across the state of California and from around the world.